Catching up with Christabelle!
- Christabelle, what is your relationship to cooking now?
My relationship with food now is similar to what it used to be, but what I have noticed is
that cooking is also a passion I like sharing. As I am now in college and I live in a student apartment
with a kitchen, there are many times that I will offer to cook things for my friends. I have also
helped some of my friends learn to cook things and how to keep a clean and safe cooking
- Do you have a positive memory from camp you can share?
I have so many experiences from camp, so many I could go on forever. My very most
favourite memory though was in 2019 the first year I attended camp. Ella, Lexi, Orli, and I were all
getting ready for Broadway, we saw Mean Girls, and we were extremely excited. We took photos
and had such an amazing time and was literally a night I can’t forget. I still remember what I wore
and I still have the heals that I wore and they still are stained from the blisters they gave me, I regret
not taking Nick’s advice not to wear them to this day. It was so painful I walked all the way from
the subway station back to the dorms and then straight in the shower to get New York off of my
- Are you still in touch with anybody from camp?
I am still in touch with SO many people from camp, but my besets friends from camp that I
still talk to are: Ella, Orli, and Miles.
Ella: We are inseparable (that is almost an understatement if that is possible), when we see
each other it is like no time at all has passed. She is an incredible soul and she has impacted my life
in so many ways. We met in 2019, my first year of camp and what was like her 200th time at camp.
I was incredibly nervous and Ella took my hand and lead the way and showed me the ropes. From
the second we met one another while doing the ice breaker activities we were best friends. It was
Elle and Ella or nothing. We became fast friends bonding over so many things we had in common
from cheerleading to what our favourite food was and everything in between. Unfortunately
COVID hit, and we lived hundreds of miles away from one another and we could see each other for
what felt like forever. But in 2021 we managed to reunite, we were already going to be going to
camp that summer together and were going to be roommates which felt like the most exciting thing
ever. But even before camp about a week prior to camp she came on my family vacation to Cabo to
celebrate my graduation from High school. After spending 3 weeks together from Cabo and then the 2 weeks of camp that was offered prior, two days following camp I flew down to Tennessee and
spent a week with her and her family. I met so many of her friends and I still even talk to them as
well. We have stayed in touch ever since we became friends. Even this past January Ella and I hung
out in New York and we spent just a few valuable hours with her.
Orli: I see Orli the most out of anyone I met at camp, we met in 2019 as well. We are
insanely good friends and the hours fly by when I see her. She only lives 45 minutes away from me
so once I got my drivers licence we saw each other so much more. I still see her every chance I get
but it is so hard now that I am in college and she is still in high school (although she is graduating
this year!). She and I are very good friends and I can tell her everything, she is also another very
good friend that I can trust with my soul. She makes me laugh like no other person, she keeps it 00% real at all times, and we can tear up a mall together. She’s an insanely amazing person and I
love every minute I am around her. We bonded over the fact that we were the only two semi-older
campers in the pastry section of the camp. Finding out we only lived 45 minutes away from one
another was what felt like the best news EVER! We have the type of friendship that will always be
there no matter how long it takes to respond to a text.
Miles: Miles and I also met in 2019, he was a day camper and I was a boarding camper. The
best memories I have with him was definitely when he took a big bite of Orli and I’s espresso
buttercream frosting, and then finding out coffee makes him need the bathroom on top of the fact
that he is lactose intolerant. You can put the pieces together as to what happened following
consuming the buttercream. We then became friends and have hung out a lot since camp. What
really sealed our friendship and brought us even closer is the following week after camp my mother
had signed me up for yet another camp in NYC, low and behold at the first drop off I look over and
there was Miles. I knew that from that point on the camp would be worth it (even if it did overlap
with my birthday). Since my family has an apartment in NYC now, I have seen Miles more and
more and I come home from seeing him with my cheeks sore from smiling and laughing so much.
In short, when I am with Miles there is no saying what we could do every time is a different
adventure that always ends up in the best memories.
- In what ways did attending our program make a difference for you, anywhere in your life?
Campus NYC helped me in so many ways and has further altered my life in a multitude of
ways I cannot fathom without having been to CampusNYC. I have so many friends that I still talk
to and see ( as you can see from above ). There are so many more people I still talk to or still are in
contact with in some way or another. CampusNYC helped me learn how to make lifelong friends
and also helped me understand my way around a kitchen.
Cooking is also one of my passions so becoming better at it has also helped me have good
times with my friends cooking at college. On the topic of college, Campus NYC helped me to
understand how to cook a meal with what I had because of the Chopped Challenges as well as how to cook a delicious meal.
- What are you up to now? Where are you headed in life?
Right now I am at The University of Arizona, and I am in my last semester of my
sophomore year. I am working towards a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology as my major while also
minoring in Food Studies. As of today (3.14.2023) I changed my minor from Marketing to Food
Studies, because I realised where I am my happiest and that is in the kitchen or thinking about what
I am going to cook next. As someone who is a self proclaimed foodie, the history and where my
food comes from and the cultural background of food is extremely interesting to me. I do not
exactly know what I am going to do with that combination of degrees, but I know it is something I
am going to enjoy doing much more than any marketing desk job.
Here is what Christabelle’s mom had to say:
1. Mom, why did you choose to register in our program initially?
I found Campus NYC through a Google search. It was a gift, my daughter had always loved to cook and bake but there were always very few camps and after school courses she could take, especially once she reached middle school age. As far as I could see Campus NYC was unique. It was the equivalent of a summer sports camp but for a kid who was just as in love with cooking as some kids are with soccer or lacrosse.
2. After camp, did you notice any breakthroughs your child may have had as a result of attending our program, academically, socially or in any other way?
Campus NYC provided a wonderful opportunity for my daughter to find friends the way many of us do, through a shared passion. She made friends that she still has today five years later. It was a breakthrough for her because she had never really found friends to share this passion with before.
It also gave her a new confidence in herself through working at something and seeing an improvement, practicing a skill and having the example of adults who took cooking seriously and had made a career in it.
3. In the last years since attending our program, can you see where our program has had any impact on their life?
I can 100% see that my daughter’s time at Campus NYC has made an impact on her life. She attended Campus NYC twice, both times as a residential student in New York for two weeks. She made friends for life at Campus NYC; she has a great confidence in herself as a cook and baker; she takes her knowledge of cooking seriously and continues to teach herself and stretch herself with cooking; at college she has been able to shop and cook for herself very easily, whilst understanding nutrition and has even taught her friends to do the same.
She has also just elected to do a Food Studies minor at college. Campus NYC has been a major part of her journey towards what I believe will be a life long love of food and cooking.
4. What is your student up to these days? Does it relate to their work in our program?
See above re college. She is studying a Major in Psychology with a Minor in Food Studies. She isn’t entirely sure what she will do for a job but was just talking to me today about how she would like it to be related to food and nutrition.
5. What was their major in college, and if they have graduated, what are they up to now?
She is at College in her Sophomore year. She is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Food Studies
6. Did attending our program alter the course of your student’s life in any way?
Yes. It very much helped to cement her path. I think the single most important thing it did was to take her interest in cooking seriously. Often it is deemed to be a ‘nice hobby’. We live in an area where sports and science are taken very seriously but cooking and other artistic pursuits are underserved for children and young adults and are often viewed as ‘hobbies’. Being in a professional kitchen with professional chefs and judged in the chopped challenge by people from the food industry made her proud of her skills and realize that they were real skills that are to be taken seriously and to be proud of.